Amazon’s Alexa Assistant To Get Voice ID Technology

1 March 2017, 5:11 pm EST By Vittorio Hernandez Mobile & Apps

The future Alexa, the digital assistant of Amazon, would be able to distinguish individual users on the basis of their voice’s sound. For that to happen, Amazon is developing Alexa’s Voice ID technology by matching a pre-recorded voice print or voice sample to a person speaking to verify the identity of the speaker.

Technology Completed, Integration Lacking

MacRumors reports that people familiar with the strategy of Amazon for Alexa say the company has been developing its Voice ID technology since summer 2015. The underlying technology has been completed. What is lacking is to integrate it into Echo speakers.

Under the present set-up, while an Echo user could set up multiple profiles and jump between the profiles, the user must say “switch accounts” or use the Alexa app to change accounts. If the Voice ID technology would be in place, it would be easier to share the digital assistant among several people living in one place.

Better Parental Control

At the same time, the Voice ID technology could further boost parental control by preventing the children from buying anything using Echo or to access other features of Alexa. The present set up involves parents setting pin codes for purchases. With voice recognition, Echo could personalize its responses to different users. But some users may not like the idea of the Echo remembering them, CNET notes.

At the CES in January, Mike George, Amazon vice president of Alexa, said his team was working on teaching Alexa to have a better understanding of context such as remembering previous requests and becoming more conversational. By adding the ability to remember specific voices, through Voice ID technology, it could help with the two concepts.

Amazon has made Alexa capable of responding to 10,000 skills that are mainly third-party apps users could interact with using voice, once enabled. However, it is still unknown so far if Voice ID technology would extend to the many third-party devices now available enabled by Alexa.

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